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Rockhurst University

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Rockhurst University is a private, coeducational Jesuit university located in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1910, the school observes the following motto: "Sapientia Aedificavit Sibi Domum." Latin for, "Wisdom has built herself a home." Sitting on a 55 acre, urban campus, Rockhurst is home to approximately 2,200 undergraduate and 800 graduate students, who enjoy a faculty:student ratio of 1:12. The University has etched into their campus bell tower a principle very much alive on campus, "Learning, Leadership, and Service in the Jesuit tradition."

Offering over 50 graduate and undergraduate programs, Rockhurst's most popular majors include: Business, Management, Marketing, Health Professions, Psychology, Biological and Biomedical Sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, was reported at 86% by US News in 2014. The school's newest academic building, Arrupe Hall, boasts a 500-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium, and houses the majority of all undergraduate and graduate classes.

The university focuses on leadership, experiential learning, critical thinking and service. Regularly ranked among America’s top universities, Rockhurst University is known for small class sizes, high graduation rates, commitment to service, and overall value.

Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Currently, students at Rockhurst University have had little to no exposure to innovation or entrepreneurship. Largely, this is due to a lack of both student initiative and awareness on the subject matter. A primary goal of the 2015-2016 University Innovation Fellow Candidates is to engage and inspire interdisciplinary students and spread awareness of the resources available in the Kansas City community.

There is a single student organization dedicated to furthering innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, presently working with the Student Development Office and Student Senate to become a registered student organization. Additionally, students have a spectacular amount of resources in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as Whiteboard2Boardroom, OneDayKC and the Sprint Accelerator.

There are several areas on campus that could be used for interdisciplinary collaboration, but that are not advertised as such. There are a great deal of resources available to students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship in the Kansas City community, but not specifically at Rockhurst University.

Faculty Innovation & Entrepreneurship

There are several faculty at Rockhurst University who impart the value of innovation in their classes. Innovation in the classroom requires student interaction in place of a purely lecture-based course. Rockhurst's committment to grow critical thinkers and leaders through its core curriculum is served by this practice. A handful of courses successfully embody this ideal, but others have room to grow. A unique opportunity exists in many capstone courses to partner with an existing company, and to solve real-world problems as a part of the curriculum.

Presently, there is no Technology Licensing Office or Technology Transfer Office at Rockhurst available to faculty conducting research in conjunction with their course-load. However, Jim Baxendale of Whiteboard2Boardroom has established a working relationship with the University as he is located just across the street at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's campus.

University Technology Transfer

At Rockhurst University, there are no formal resources when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. The Kansas City, Missouri, community, on the other hand, provides a wealth of resources to interested students, staff and faculty:

Venture Accelerator

The Sprint Accelerator, located in the Crossroads Art District of Kansas City, Missouri, helps startups build the future of mobile technology. Their program offering is a three-month, mentor driven startup accelerator.

KC Startup Village is an entrepreneur-led community helping to grow and support Kansas City entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem. They foster the education of entrepreneurs and increase the number of opportunities for startups to succeed.

Seed Funding Sources

1 Million Cups (1MC) is a free, weekly national program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. Developed by the Kauffman foundation, 1MC is based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee.

One in a Million is a startup competition available to companies that have presented at 1 Million Cups the previous year. Fifteen finalists will come to Kansas City, all-expenses paid, to compete during Global Entrepreneurship Week, this year from November 17th through the 18th.

Tech Transfer Office/Venture Assistance

Whiteboard2Boardroom (W2B), led by the UMKC Innovation Center, is a partnership between regional schools involving research partners, technology transfer offices and entrepreneurs. W2B assists with initial assessment, IP issues and various other venture assistance activities.

Proof Positioning is a resource available in the Kansas City community. They are a branding firm composed of experts in the world of mergers and acquisitions. They assist companies of various sizes in marketing decisions

University-Industry Collaboration

Rockhurst University has several close connections with industry, spanning various majors and capstone courses. These experiential-learning opportunities provide the real-world application of skills and knowledge that students truly desire. An example of a course that provides these experierntial-learning opportunities would be:

MK 7900 - Business Capstone

While there are several research centers, industrial parks and industry/mentor networks in the Kansas City area, it seems as though these resources are being under-utilized to a great degree. Some of these resources available, but not being used, include:

Economic Development Cooperation of KCMO; Independence Regional Ennovation Center; and the Kansas Bioscience Park Venture Accelerator.

Regional & Local Economic Development Efforts

Rockhurst University does not have a formal Economic Development Office. However, the University does have a positive economic impact on the Kansas City region and community. During FY 2013, 51% of Rockhurst's expenditures ($25.6 Million) were spent on the provision of instructional materials, technology, office equipment and utilities through local businesses. Furthermore, the University invests in women and minority-owned businesses. More information can be found here.